Some further thoughts.
The difference between "Abstract" art and "modern" art is that people like me often mislabel "Abstract" art as "modern". While all abstract art is modern art, not all modern art is abstract. So there.
Last Wednesday I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and saw some of their new "Americas" wing. I, for one, was really excited that they at last had some abstract art in the museum. It fascinates me, frustrates me, and always provokes me to thought. I dislike the distain people can have for abstract art in saying it's just "stupid!" or "I could have done that!", partly because I can see it in myself but mostly because I know it's an unthinking and careless response to someone else's deep thought and care. Alas, the exhibit was packed, so I visited the near empty courtyard before leaving. Then I got to thinking . . .
Representational art is to Longfellow as Abstract art is to cummings. I always disliked Longfellow. While I haven't always liked cummings, he was the poet I had brought with me and I was (am) really enjoying his poetry. While all (or at least most) painting styles are trying to say something, abstract art seems to be screaming it the loudest. Still, it is a thousand times more difficult to apprehend abstract art's meaning. I'm not sure I have much else to say about the subject. I have been unable to understand most abstract art that I've experienced and examined . . . but I think I should continue to try hard to understand it. I plan on making another visit to my museum on a more quiet day.
That trip to Boston, on the whole, was incredibly full and interesting. I have stories to tell both interesting and amusing, but those will have to wait for a time when I am not trying to write half a nanowrimo novel in the last week.